flea beetle

(Disonycha uniguttata)

Conservation Status
flea beetle (Disonycha uniguttata)
Photo by Alfredo Colon
  IUCN Red List

not listed

     
  NatureServe

NNR - Unranked

     
  Minnesota

not listed

     
           
           
           
 
Description
 
 

Disonycha uniguttata is a small beetle, a moderate-sized leaf beetle, and a large flea beetle. It is found east of the Rocky Mountains.

Adults are somewhat shiny, slender, oblong, ¼ to 5 16 (6 to 8 mm) long, and 1 16 to (2.2 to 3.8 mm) wide.

The exoskeletal plate covering the thorax (pronotum) is about twice as wide as long and nearly as wide as the hardened forewings (elytra). The rear corners are truncated at an oblique angle. The lateral margin is bowed outward, narrow, and sharp. There is a slight depression in the middle of the pronotum (dorsally) near the base. The pronotum is red with a whitish margin, There is usually a large black spot in the middle and one small dark brown spot on each side. Sometimes the spots merge together.

The elytra are oblong with parallel sides, rounded in the shoulder (humeral) region, and broadly rounded at the tip. They have a narrow, flat, pale margin that does not extend all of the way to the tip. The surface is smooth, shiny, and hairless. It is distinctly and densely covered with pits that are not in rows. On the female there is no trace or only a faint trace of longitudinal ridges. Each elytrum is dingy white (pale) with inner (sutural), middle, and lateral black stripes. The sutural stripe extends to the tip of the elytrum, the lateral one does not. The black stripes are considerably broader than the pale ones. The plate between the wing bases (scutellum) is triangular and black.

The legs are relatively short and slender. The third segment (femur) of each leg is usually pale or red, sometimes dark. The outer edge of the fourth leg segment (tibia) is shallowly grooved, even on the hind legs, and has a short spur at the tip (apex). The last part of each leg (tarsus), corresponding to the foot, has five segments. The fourth segment is very short and is concealed within the broadened tip of the third segment, making the tarsus appear to have only four segments. The first segment is about twice as long as the second, and on the male it is much enlarged. The claw at the tip of the tarsus has a short tooth at the base. The joint on the hind claw is not inflated.

The head behind the eyes is covered by the pronotum. It may be entirely black but is usually pale or red at the base of the antennae. The space between the eyes is more than half the width of the head. The antennae are black and relatively long but less than half as long as the body. The basal segments are pale. The third segment is shorter than the fourth or fifth.

 
     
 

Size

 
 

Total Length: ¼ to 5 16

 
     
 

Similar Species

 
     
     
 
Habitat
 
 

 

 
     
 
Biology
 
 

Season

 
 

 

 
     
 

Behavior

 
 

Larvae feed on the lower surface of the leaves of the host plant. Adults chew tiny “shotholes” in the leaf. They jump when disturbed.

 
     
 

Life Cycle

 
 

Adults overwinter. In the spring, the female lays eggs on or near a host plant.

 
     
 

Larva Food

 
 

 

 
     
 

Adult Food

 
 

 

 
     
 
Distribution
 
 

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30.

 
  1/8/2018      
         
 

Occurrence

 
 

 

 
         
 
Taxonomy
 
 

Order

Coleoptera (beetles)  
 

Suborder

Polyphaga (water, rove, scarab, longhorn, leaf and snout beetles)  
 

Infraorder

Cucujiformia  
 

Superfamily

Chrysomeloidea (long-horned and leaf beetles)  
 

Family

Chrysomelidae (leaf beetles)  
 

Subfamily

Galerucinae (skeletonizing leaf beetles)  
 

Tribe

Alticini (flea beetles)  
  Subtribe Disonychina  
 

Genus

Disonycha  
  Group pensylvanica  
       
 

Flea beetles were formerly treated as the subfamily Alticnae. Disonycha uniguttata was formerly treated as a subspecies or synonym of Disonycha pensylvanica.

 
       
 

Synonyms

 
 

 

 
       
 

Common Names

 
 

This species has no common name. The common name of the tribe Alticini is flea beetles, and is applied here for convenience.

 
       

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Elytra

The hardened or leathery forewings on an insect used to protect the fragile hindwings, which are used for flying, in beetles and true bugs. Singular: elytron.

 

Femur

On insects and arachnids, the third, largest, most robust segment of the leg, coming immediately before the tibia. On humans, the thigh bone.

 

Pronotum

The saddle-shaped, exoskeletal plate on the upper side of the first segment of the thorax of an insect.

 

Scutellum

The exoskeletal plate covering the rearward (posterior) part of the middle segment of the thorax in some insects. In Coleoptera, Hemiptera, and Homoptera, the dorsal, often triangular plate behind the pronotum and between the bases of the front wings. In Diptera, the exoskeletal plate between the abdomen and the thorax.

 

Tarsus

The last two to five subdivisions of an insect’s leg, attached to the tibia; the foot. Plural: tarsi.

 

Tibia

The fourth segment of an insect leg, after the femur and before the tarsus (foot).

 

 

 

 

 

 
 
Visitor Photos
 
           
 

Share your photo of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach one or more photos and, if you like, a caption.
 
 

Alfredo Colon

 
    flea beetle (Disonycha uniguttata)   flea beetle (Disonycha uniguttata)  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Photos
 
 

 

 
           
           

 

Camera

     
 
Slideshows
 
 
     
     
     

 

slideshow

       
 
Visitor Videos
 
       
 

Share your video of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Attach a video, a YouTube link, or a cloud storage link.
 
 

 

 
     
     
       
       
       
 
Other Videos
 
     
     
     
       

 

Camcorder

 
 
Visitor Sightings
 
           
 

Report a sighting of this insect.

 
  This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.
 
  Alfredo Colon
6/12/2018

Location: Woodbury, Minnesota

flea beetle (Disonycha uniguttata)  
           
 
MinnesotaSeasons.com Sightings
 
 

 

 

 

 

Binoculars


Last Updated:

About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | © 2021 MinnesotaSeasons.com. All rights reserved.